The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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India promoting drugs, says Natl Sports Council

Shimla: Expressing grave concern over the increasing doping activities among sportspersons in the country, the National Sports Promotion Council today blamed foreign coaches and trainers for “encouraging drug abuse among players for short term gains.”

Talking to mediapersons here, president of the Council Rajeshwar Singh Negi also held various sport bodies responsible for promoting such activity for the sake of wining medals “which bring money, recognition, sponsors and also fame for players, their coaches and the associations.”

“Coaches and trainers from east European countries, who had been given lucrative assignments, were encouraging drug abuse among the players for winning medals and show their performance but their shortsighted policy was harming the long term interests of the players,” he said.

“The cash and award incentive policy of the government was mainly responsible for this unfortunate trend,” he added.

He said the Indian players hardly knew anything about sports medicine and their effects for which a large number of athletes who had won medals at international meets were being disqualified or stripped of their medals.

The sports institutes, though aware of the use of drugs by their wards, were taking no action, he said.

To put a check on rampant use of drugs by the athletes, Negi suggested that the government should set up anti-doping cells at all the coaching centres with Sports Authority of India, Patiala as the nodal agency.

The doping test should be made mandatory for all state, national and international level competitions for selected players and those testing positive should be punished, he added.

Negi also demanded “Sports Authority of India be disbanded and its functions be assigned to a sub-committee of sports department and the recently revived 20-member All India Sports Council should be scrapped as it had no worthwhile function to perform.”

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